We spent the afternoon with multitalented, multidimensional beauty Sydney Porter. She shares wisdom around her recent transition into motherhood, her most cherished teachers, and how she Honors Mother Earth. Meet Sydney.
You are an advocate for Fearless & Empowered Birth - what does that mean to you, and what has your journey to this path look like?
When I first found out that I was pregnant I had not imagined my birth turning out anything like it actually did.
I was absolutely petrified at the thought of giving birth. Everything I had seen, read, and heard about childbirth led me to believe that it was an excruciating and traumatic experience. I honestly didn’t even think that I would be able to handle the pain at all. I believed it would be utterly unbearable and essentially, I felt absolutely trapped by my fate.
I tried to ignore and suppress all of the doubtful feelings I was having, but it was an absolutely crippling dilemma that I was facing. I found myself obsessing over a potentially disastrous birth, while simultaneously feeling more joyful and elated than I ever had. Based on what I had been taught my whole life about birth and motherhood, I knew that it was common for women to feel like this but, I had a gut feeling that it definitely was not normal.
I decided that I wasn’t just going to stand by and let fear rule my life.
So I vowed to myself that I would do everything in my power to educate myself on the real truth about birth. For my entire pregnancy I committed to uprooting this deeply ingrained trauma, I put in the work every single day to rewrite my own personal narrative about what I expected childbirth to be. It was the most liberating, empowering, and transformative journey I had ever experienced.
I found that for so long, I was very far removed and out of touch from the ebb and flow of life. I had forgotten the sacredness within all. Growing a new life in my womb had allowed me to step into the fullest expression of my divinity as a woman. The journey from maiden to mother was (and still is) so humbling, so sacred, so ancestral.
To take on the duty of birthing a child is such a great gift. It is such an honor to labor, and endure the intensity of birthing for our children. When we birth we are not only giving a new life to our babies, but we are also undergoing a process of rebirth ourselves. Looking back on it all I’d say that for me there is no greater experience than that of bringing life into the world.
So I decided to start using the term ‘fearless and empowered’ after I gave birth to my own daughter. I would say that the experience was exactly that for me, fearless and deeply empowering, like nothing else I’ve ever felt.
I know that it is a part of my purpose in this world to advocate for the rights of birthing women and their babies. It’s time that we take back our power and educate ourselves on the incredible natural capabilities of our bodies and minds. All women deserve to birth their babies with confidence, and I believe that every woman is capable of having the birth that she desires.
You brought your first child, Veya, into the world this year. How has the experience of becoming a mother been in line with your expectations, and how has it been different?
Motherhood...where do I begin? It’s honestly a little difficult for me to remember what I expected from it all beforehand, but thus far I don’t think motherhood is as difficult as I thought it would be. Don’t get me wrong, it’s definitely the hardest and most exhausting thing I’ve ever done, but being able to see my daughter happy and healthy makes every bit of discomfort worth it.
At the moment, my days with her are so sweet and precious. It feels like I’m in a time warp of endless baby cuddles and breastfeeding, but I know these newborn days won’t last forever. Since she was born I’ve spent more time being present and in the now than I ever have. She grows overnight (quite literally) and amazes me with just how much she observes and learns each day. She changes so quickly, I really just want to be there with her, to marvel at her in every stage, in every moment. So as of lately I’ve been soaking in as much of this sweetness as I can.
For the most part I didn’t really have many expectations about Veya or what she would be like, so discovering who she is and watching her grow into herself has really been so magical to see. I never expected that I could love anyone as seamlessly and unconditionally as I love her. It’s this newfound depth of love that inspires me and teaches me everyday. It makes me wonder, “how can I bring more compassion and gentleness to every relationship that I have?”
What resources have been helpful for you, both in the Motherhood space and beyond? Any books or teachers you've been particularly drawn to along the way?
Surprisingly one of the greatest resources for me as a young mom has been the network of strong empowered mothers that I’ve created on instagram. Having a wonderful community of conscious mothers online has really been a huge grounding point on my journey into motherhood. It’s so important to have people to relate to, just knowing that you aren’t alone is such a great comfort and point of reassurance.
When I first found out I was going to be a mom I didn’t think there was anyone in the world that I would really be able to really connect to, or anyone that would understand experientially what my life would be like. (I had no idea just how many young moms there were out there at the time!) There’s such a huge stigma around young motherhood. So many people believe that it’s shameful to have children so young or before marriage, and I found myself fighting this internal dialogue of doubt, wondering if I was going to feel guilty for the rest of my life about my decisions.
When I started finding other young moms online it was absolutely liberating. Just being able to see other women like me who were young with children really allowed me to release any shame and guilt I had felt initially. It feels sort of weird for me to say, but being able to resonate with these women online allowed me to let go of a very outdated and deeply rooted belief that I held about motherhood.
Outside of the vast realm of being a mom, I’ve really been drawn to many spiritual teachers, mystics, and shamans along the way. My exploration of self has been a lifelong process, but the big turning point in my journey on earth began after I read The Untethered Soul by Michael Alan Singer. That book really took me a lot deeper within myself and caused me to truly desire the answers to some of those ‘unanswerable’ questions.
A few years later after I had just turned 17, I decided to go on a week long silent vipassana retreat in northern california. That experience completely transformed my entire being. From that one week alone the way that I viewed the world was changed forever. Since then I’ve pulled wisdom from so many people over the years. Anyone can be a teacher if you’re willing to be a student. There have been a few that stand out in my mind such as the Buddha, Abraham Hicks, Louise Hays, Spring Washam, Rasha, Paramahansa Yogananda, and my husband Khepera.
Despite having learned much from many great visionaries, the most impactful teachers I’ve encountered have been love, patience, compassion, and presence. There truly is no greater spiritual practice than kindness and understanding.
How do you Honor Mother Earth?
Giving thanks and showing gratitude to our great mother is a practice that I hold very dear to my heart. I find that there are endless opportunities in my day to acknowledge our earth and all that she does for us. Our lives are so deeply woven and interconnected with hers, to show my appreciation and love for Mother Earth is really an act of gratitude towards myself and all life on this planet.
I find that one of the deepest practices I have of honoring the earth is just being present with her. Simply going out into nature and admiring all that she nourishes and grows, helps me to connect to her and tap into her energy. If you’re able to listen to her, Mother Earth will tell you exactly how she wants to be honored and respected. I thank her everyday for supporting every aspect of my life and all the life in this world.
From a more physical standpoint, I’ve chosen to commit myself to living a sustainable lifestyle. I’m currently in the process of transitioning into a zero waste method of living. When I consume I do so mindfully, making sure that I take into consideration the impact that my purchases have on the planet. Ultimately my goal is to create a self sustaining community of like minded people that can coexist in harmony with one another and the planet. My hope is that in the future we can all return to our roots as a global population, and live a life that works for the planet and not against it.